The Bottom Line
- Very Strong Performance
- Two External Drive Bays for Easy Upgrading
- Wireless Networking Built-In
- System Gets Noisy When Under Heavy Usage
- Relatively Few Number of USB Ports
- Contains a Lot of Trialware
- Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With LightScribe
- NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB Graphics Card
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Six USB 2.0, Two FireWire, Two eSATA, 15-in-1 Card Reader
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, HP MediaSmart, CyberLink DVD Suite, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - HP Pavilion Elite m9650f Mainstream Desktop PC
Apr 11 2009 - HP's Pavilion Elite m950f is their preconfigured desktop system with a $1250 price tag to replace the Pavilion Elite m9550f. The most notable difference between the two systems is the move from the previous Core 2 processors to Intel's new Core i7 platform. This upgrade provides the system with a major increase in performance thanks to the new architecture including the triple channel DDR3 memory. Even with 6GB instead of 8GB of memory, people will not have any issues with memory slowdowns at all. The only real drawback is that the system will get quite noisy when the CPU is being used heavily.
Storage on the Pavilion Elite m9650f is essentially the same as the previous model. The 750GB hard drive provides a good amount of storage and is in line with most desktop systems in this price range. The dual layer DVD burner is also fairly standard but HP does include one that supports burning labels directly to LightScribe compatible media. The docking bays for the HP 2.5-inch Pocket Media and 3.5-inch Media drives also make it fairly easy to upgrade the storage without having to open up the case.
One area where the Pavilion Elite m9650f suffers compared to the previous model is the graphics. The NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB graphics card is decent enough for PC gaming at resolutions up to 1680x1050 but it would have been nice to see them either keep the Radoen HD 4850 or include a newer generation of NVIDIA card. The system has twin PCI-Express graphics slots but the 380W power supply really doesn't let itself to supporting multiple cards.
As with the previous m9550f, the Pavilion Elite m9650f includes an 802.11a/g/n wireless networking adapter for easy access to a wireless home network. A gigabit ethernet connector allows for faster wired networking if required.